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Back To School In Green Style

Hi, my name is Erin and I am a high school senior from Northern California. I founded Teens for Safe Cosmetics with a group of my peers because I don't think that we should have to choose between beauty and health! And now I apply a similar philosophy to all aspects of my life: why risk my well being when I don't have to? With summer's end just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about back to school. Can you believe it?! In addition to finding out about classes, teachers, schedules, and readjusting to waking up to my alarm clock, I think back to school is the perfect opportunity to embrace a more eco-conscious lifestyle. From my shampoo and mascara to my outfit for the first day of school to binders and text books, I am Turning Green! Check out these four simple tips, watch Kylie’s video tips and join us on this ever-evolving journey towards a healthy body and world. Check back throughout the month of August for more back to school tips from Teens for Safe Cosmetics. And enjoy these last few weeks of summer!! Tip 1: Look for organic and chemical free cosmetics, personal care, and body products (guys included – shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, shaving cream, soap, etc). Visit Teens for Safe Cosmetics for a complete list of Greener Alternatives , as well asa chemicals to avoid in The Dirty Dozen . Check out the Skin Deep Report for more information and visit stores like Whole Foods Market or other green retailers for a wide selection of products. Tip 2: Incorporate green into your clothing choices for the first day of school. Cotton is among the most pesticide-laden and water-intensive crops in the world, which is why purchasing organic cotton is so vital. EcoFashion can be everything from vintage to recycled fibers like bamboo, hemp, recycled denim, and even cork for shoes! Tip 3: When shopping for school supplies, purchase recycled binders and post-consumer notebooks and dividers, like those by New Leaf Paper (made in the USA and available at Whole Foods Market). Look into refillable or recycled pens and pencils, AusPen whiteboard markers, mainstream office supply stores and companies with green initiatives, and comprehensive online eco-office supply databases . Tip 4: Save money and trees by reusing and recycling reading materials! Attend a local book swap, visit the library, research paper-free on the web, and look for used books at local or online stores. About Teens for Safe Cosmetics Teens for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition led by dynamic and passionate young women raising awareness about potentially harmful ingredients in beauty and daily use products that may be linked to cancer, reproductive harm and other health risks. Their mission is to educate the public about harmful chemicals found in cosmetics and personal care products, advocate for legislation that protects one’s right to health and to inspire teens across the nation to work together around these issues and create change within their communities. Teens for Safe Cosmetics launches Teens Turning Green Collection Teens for Safe Cosmetics has brought together phenomenal eco-conscious companies to create a line that attains Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care seal, the most comprehensive retail standards. Companies have used a holistic approach in the creation of these products, incorporating how age, variation in skin type, and environment can effect teenage skin. The line will launch exclusively at Whole Foods Market nationwide in October 2008. For the first time in history, Teens Turning Green will offer teenagers a line made specifically for their skin that is safe. Hand-selected by teenagers for safety, sustainability, and practicality, the Teens Turning Green collection is a cross-section of the best products on the market.

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66 comments

Comments

Ursula says …

All of my son's clothes are handed down to a friends son, who hands down, etc. I always send my son with a reusable water bottle instead of disposables. When I send snacks, I generally make organic homemade treats in a reusable container. And I recycle all of the coloring pages he brings home...either as wrapping paper or a note pad or stationary!

mod*mom says …

great post erin! i'm getting my daughter ready to start kindergarten as green as possible too, with her school supplies + clothes. we're homeschooling with stanford university's virtual kindergarten program, so we'll be learning about the environment by growing our own food + composting. i have a degree in environmental science, so it will be amazing to educate her "green" + document her progress on my blog. now i'm going to watch the video :)

Nora says …

This is fun and light, and wow what a smile this kids has.

Hanna says …

Just visited the TFSC website. Great to see these young stars taking on this topic by themselves.

katie says …

Great video, simple and cute. Nice to see the young people taking control of the choices they make.

Laura says …

Simple changes like this, implemented by a few then many, can have a tremendous impact

Heather says …

Good to see Erin, keeping the dream alive. I am interested in the Stanford home schooling program mentioned by your reader, I'll look into it!

Sam says …

There is a link here to "The Dirty Dozen"- bad chemicals to check for in your products. Very good short list!

Amanda says …

I think that it is key to buy good quality supplies that don't need replacing every year. Backpacks, winter coats, good boots, nice quality binders, can be used for more than just a single year, and sometimes passed on to younger siblings. I think that this really applies to art supplies too. Good markers last longer than cheapie throwaways!

Elizabeth says …

Reusable water bottles, hand me downs and good quality supplies for what we do buy.

Danielle says …

I would never ever miss a chance to buy vintage clothing & accessories, so when I need a new bag or tote, I always buy vintage or thrift it. Using recycled paper (plus my other tips) are always conversation starters...so it's a win-win situation!

DC says …

Love the tip about recycling reading material.

Annette says …

i shop from home on ebay for all my children's clothes. i think buying second-hand clothes is recyling. i save gas and money too. my daughter is excited to take her new sigg bottle to school.

Liz says …

Buying recycled binders and other items. I reuse ours and once the kids are done with it I turn it into a photo album. Plus I shop at goodwill, thrift shops etc for clothes. I can't wait till they put text books in ebook so then we can use ereaders and save tons of trees

Peggie says …

Lunch bags that are reusable, as well as not using plastic baggies and disposable items.

Kathleen says …

like the idea of reducing plastic bag use by using something like the Wrap and Mat (http://www.wrap-n-mat.com/). Also good would be to reuse old binders if they're still in good condition. Kids can cut out magazine images and glue them to the front (or tuck them in the clear outer pocket that some of them have). It allows them to have a unique, creative binder too!

Maureen says …

Reusable water bottles. Also now have to include the Auspen markers - how cool those are. Thanks, Maureen jnomaxx at hotmail dot com

Lucky says …

Shop at thrift stores/garage sales for back to school items. Its eco-friendly and not everyone will have what you have.

Shelly says …

Pack lunches using everything reusable. Buying large packages and making own single sixe to cut down on package waster. And cheaper too!

Bebemiqui says …

My fav. tip is to make sure you take advantage of hand me downs

karissa says …

no need to use ziploc baggies everyday! Or even throw away napkins! they will bring it home in their lunch box. use plastic (BPA free containers) and linen Napkins. have a few set for everyone and no throw away waste!

cdz says …

best tip is to get everyone used to NOT drinking from plastic bottles of water. Get them used to eco-friendly reusable water bottles. Save money and the planet!

CrazyDaizy says …

I pack lunches using everything reusable. With a reusable water bottle.

Samsakara says …

We got my daughter a water bottle for school instead of the disposable ones. We also send her with a lunch box instead of paper bag lunches.

Louise says …

Reusable water bottle!

Roseann K says …

I prefer to use reusable water bottles!

Maja says …

reusable water bottles is my pick

Misty says …

We always buy recycled paper, and notebooks. You can also use hand me downs, and try garage sales. Thanks so much for the opportunity. planetmisty at gmail dot com

LInda White says …

we use our backpacks more than one year if they are still in decent shape and not falling apart!

Kelly says …

My kids are almost to the age were they will start to be interested in cosmetics. T'his is a tremendous resource.

Reiza says …

Inventory what you have first. Look all around the house to see what's left over from last year or what fell behind the desk that you never even realized was there. Chances are, you'll find some pens, pencils, paper, etc that you didn't even realize you had. That way, you're buying less and leaving less waste.

Jello says …

We stopped at an outlet mall on our way home from vacation and did all our shopping in a single stop.

Sierra says …

We try to use reusable items in the lunchbox ... We use hand-me-down clothes.... We walk to and from the bus stop

It says …

donate what you don't need that does not fit or have a neighborhood trade of clothes for the right size

Jeff says …

i'd like to see kids walking to school again and might submit this idea to all the "eco-conscious" kids in the schools, sort of a challenge...

krystal says …

My eco-friendly tip is to take the bus instead of driving there.

Susan says …

Reusable wate bottles is both ecofriendly and inexpensive.

Kitty says …

I encourage walking to school for older kids.

Lopes says …

Put a damp wash cloth in a baggie in with yourlunch.Use that to clean up after lunch,hands,table, etc., put back in baggie, and u throw it in the laundry. Saves on paper usage

Vern says …

unch boxes not bags

TESLA says …

Reusable Lunch bags. Re washable lunch containers Re washable spoons, fork, knife refillable water/drink bottle Cloth napkin to wash Get supplies from charities Give charities those supplies that you no longer need

weezie says …

When at all possible we always purchase organic : pencils,paper clothing and lunch bags.Clothing is also passed from child to child. Thank you so much for offering this

semtaylor says …

Lunch Here is what I do. Use a reusable water bottle, even though it is plastic I do not throw it away as I use it to hold sandwich - I can wash this over and over and not have to use ziploc bags....I do the same for veggies/fruit. I have had the same containers for several years

Unique says …

I buy my daughter's clothes through a second hand store.

Katina says …

Use lunch boxes instead of brown bags. The kids like them better anyway because they can feature their favorite characters!

twin says …

Use tupperware, not ziplocs

ky says …

We use tupperware and re use water bottles.

-Hayley says …

Buy used whenever possible and if not look for clothes/supplies etc that are made with recycled or eco-friendly materials. I also try to pack a mostly organic lunch for my daughter. Thanks!

chromium says …

reusable water bottles

Meaghan says …

I buy everything at yard sales, thrift stores, and on clearance. I also use every coupon I can!

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